Atlanta author David Fulmer got off to a great start with his Shamus Award-winning first novel, Chasing the Devil's Tail (2001). Now he's back with Rampart Street, the third Storyville mystery set in New Orleans nearly 100 years ago and featuring Valentin St. Cyr. Down on his luck, St. Cyr reluctantly accepts an assignment from a New Orleans parish boss: the investigation of the murder of a prominent Big Easy socialite caught with his pants down on the wrong side of town. Truth be told, almost everyone wants this case to go away, and with as little fanfare and publicity as possible. That said, the man's haughty daughter wants to know the truth, even if it turns out to be less than flattering to her late father's memory. When another pillar of society, an acquaintance of the first victim, turns up dead, St. Cyr begins to suspect a connection. It is a connection that no one is eager to see established, however, and pressure mounts for St. Cyr to whitewash his findings. Fulmer's plotting is spot-on, his dialogue laden with period slang, and his characters multifaceted and interestingly motivated. I'll definitely go back and catch the first two in the series.

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